Bears

CSN's final top 20 basketball rankings

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CSN's final top 20 basketball rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (33-1)

Results: Defeated Evanston 59-34, Bloom 45-35 and Proviso East 50-48

Hoops Talk: Jabari Parker and Steve Taylor help cement the 2011-12 Wolverines on the list of the best high school basketball teams in Illinois history.

2 Proviso East (32-1)

Results: Defeated West Aurora 62-51, Rockford Auburn 55-45; Lost to Simeon 50-48

Hoops Talk: The Pirates fall short in a state championship game that completely lived up to the hype. Guard Paris Lee and forward Sterling Brown return in 12-13.

3 North Chicago (25-7)

Results: Defeated Marshall 91-81, Springfield Lanphier 74-67; Lost to Peoria 72-64

Hoops Talk: It was a magical run for North Chicago, who now faces a future without prolific scorer -- and future ISU Redbird -- Aaron Simpson.

4 Bloom (30-4)

Results: Defeated Edwardsville 53-41; Lost to Simeon 45-35 and Rockford Auburn 57-46

Hoops Talk: Bloom reached state for the first time since 2000. Now the challenge will be replacing nine seniors, including guard Donald Moore.

5 Hillcrest (27-6)

Results: Defeated DuSable 47-44; Lost to Peoria 60-50; Defeated Springfield Lanphier 72-67

Hoops Talk: Jalen Loving had 17 points and 13 rebounds against Lanphier. Guard Jovan Mooring will be one of the key building blocks next season.

6 Warren (26-4)

Results: Lost to Rockford Auburn 49-43

Hoops Talk: What a career for Chuck Ramsey. The head coach accumulated 403 wins over 19 seasons.

7 Marshall (24-8)

Results: Lost to North Chicago 91-81

Hoops Talk: Korbin McClain and Milton Doyle depart, but keep an eye on guard Derrick Miles, along with forwards Tony Lewis and Citron Miller.

8 West Aurora (25-6)

Results: Lost to Proviso East 62-51

Hoops Talk: Juwan Starks and the Blackhawks gave East a run, but could not keep up in the closing minutes. Jontrell Walker will only be a junior in 12-13.

9 Plainfield East (27-2)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Ten seniors, including Brian Bennett, will move on. Roger Tating, Kentwan Steptore, Justin Kubal and Kevin Fervil will have to step up.
10 Marist (26-6)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: This year was only the beginning. Look for more heroics next season with L.J. McIntosh at the controls.
11 Bogan (26-4)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Six seniors should return for the Bengals, but Donrell Whitaker (class of 2014) and Luwane Pipkins (2015) could make bigger headlines.

12 Elgin (26-4)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: It will be guard Arie Williams team next season. The Maroons will graduate a gifted athlete in Kory Brown.

13 Evanston (21-11)

Results: Lost to Simeon 59-34

Hoops Talk: Great second half of the season for the Wildkits. Evanston will lose 10 seniors, including 6-foot-4 Leonard Garron and 5-foot-10 Josh Irving.

14 Downers Grove South (23-6)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Another 20 win season for the Mustangs. Who will step up in the absence of Jerron Wilbut and Jamall Millison?

15 Huntley (26-4)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: The sky is the limit for the Red Raiders. 6-foot-6 Amanze Egekeze will only be a junior next year.

16 Curie (25-3)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Cliff Alexander and Marcellus Davis will help keep the competition at bay in Chicagos Red-Central conference.

17 Andrew (24-3)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: High expectations a rarity for this program -- will be in place for the Bolts next year. Forward Jubril Adekoya will be one of the areas best.

18 Seton (27-5)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: A fine season for the Sting, who will try to keep Brother Rice and Leo at bay in the Catholic South next year.

19 Whitney Young (16-10)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Three potential D-I players could grace the Dolphins lineup next year: Tommy Hamilton, Jahlil Okafor and Paul White.

20 Du Sable (16-10)

Results: Lost to Hillcrest 47-44

Hoops Talk: Cinderella almost made it to Peoria. They could make another run next year. Big man Chris Galbreath (class of 2013) can play.

Looming & Lurking: St. Ignatius, Metea Valley, New Trier, St. Joseph, Wheaton St. Francis, Mundelein, St. Viator, Oak Park, Homewood-Flossmoor, Niles North, De La Salle, North Shore Country Day, Dunbar, Aurora Central Catholic, Providence-St. Mel, Lakes, Grayslake Central, Ridgewood, Orr, Farragut, Yorkville.

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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USA TODAY

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense. 

 

NBA Draft: The two instances that sold the Bulls on Coby White

NBA Draft: The two instances that sold the Bulls on Coby White

From what Coby White, Jim Boylen and John Paxson have expressed, there appear to have been two key factors that led the Bulls to select the North Carolina point guard seventh overall on Thursday night.

The first came early in November when general manager Gar Forman was scouting the Tar Heels in Las Vegas. White was an absolute star in two games against Texas and UCLA, averaging 26.0 points on 57% shooting (16 of 28), 5.5 3-pointers on 11 of 17 shooting and 5.5 assists. White also had just four turnovers in 54 minutes and got to the free throw line 13 times.

"Gar saw Coby play out in Las Vegas early in the year and my phone was blowing up with texts from Gar. That was the moment he was on the radar for sure," Paxson said. "It was Gar seeing Coby in Las Vegas that got the antenna up."

Paxson also referenced White's success against Duke as attention-grabbing. White struggled in the first of three matchups against the Blue Devils, scoring just nine points on 3 of 14 shooting. But White responded at home with a 21-point outing in Game 2, and in the ACC Championship Game tallied 11 points, 5 rebounds 4 assists and 3 steals in 38 minutes.

"He talked about it when we did our background that he wasn’t’ going to have that happen again," Paxson said of White's initial clunker against Duke, "and the next two times he played Duke, he had really good games and learned from it. That’s what so much of this is about."

That second Duke game - a game the Tar Heels won, 79-70, over the Zion-less Blue Devils - was also the moment White began feeling like he might be a one-and-done prospect. He didn't arrive in Raleigh feeling that way, but the 21-point effort on 8 of 18 shooting (and a career-high 3 blocks) put the thought in his head. It was part of a dominant stretch that included 34 points against Syracuse, 28 more against Clemson and, five days after the Duke game, 19 points against Louisville in the ACC Tournament.

"I think it changed after we played Duke at home," White said. "I started to get a lot of buzz, started getting on draft boards in the top 10. And then kind of after the season, I talked to Coach (Roy) Williams before anyone, and he kind of gave me his blessing, saying that I should go. After that it was kind of an easy decision for me."

The other instance that brought White to Chicago was a pre-draft meeting on the Saturday before the NBA Draft. White arrived in Chicago and, despite opting not to work out privately for the Bulls, did meet with Paxson and Boylen. Both Paxson and White described that interview as a telling sign of the mutual interest, and Boylen reiterated that impressive interaction on Monday when White was introduced to the media at the Advocate Center.

“He looks you in the eye when you talk to him. He’s coachable. He has a soul and a spirit, which I think is important, and he’s been just awesome to deal with,” Boylen said. “We had a great meeting. It was great for both of us.”

White described that meeting with Boylen as the best he had with any coach in the pre-draft process. Paxson said White was “anxious for more” after the coaching Boylen did in that meeting, with the two looking at both good and bad film from White’s freshman season.

It all culminated in Thursday night’s selection. With both Darius Garland and Jarrett Culver off the board, the Bulls drafted for both talent and need in selecting White. He isn’t a traditional point guard – his 24.7% assist rate is evidence of that – but he gives the Bulls both a dynamic scorer and someone to push the ball in transition. Paxson said as much on Thursday and Boylen doubled down on that assessment four days later.

“Well I think the most important thing for us is when the ball is in his hands. We have to run with him. We want to play faster. We want to play smart, but we want to play faster when it's appropriate. He's a guy that can make decisions on the move. We've got to get the rest of our team to run with him. That's going to be our job, and I'm excited for that.”

White will also give the Bulls a floor spacer – he shot 35.3% from deep as a freshman – at the position, something they desperately needed the past few years. He’s hardly a finished product but should get the chance to improve right away, whether it’s as a starter or backing up a free agent acquisition in July.

But Boylen applauded White’s desire to get better, something that rubbed off in that pre-draft interview. White had a direct answer when asked what he needs to improve on in his rookie season.

“Coming in, decision-making. The league is ball screen-heavy so decisions off ball screens. At Carolina, coaches kind of wanted me to really just go one speed and that’s fast all the time,” White said. “I think coming into the league, I can use my change of speed and change of pace better. I’ve been trying to work on that a lot. Those two things are really key for me.”

Finding talent was key for the Bulls after a 22-win season. But they’re also thrilled with the personalities and workers they found in both White and second-round pick Daniel Gafford.

“We drafted these guys because of their ability to be coached and be teachable,” Boylen said. “Everything we got back on their background was teachable, coachable, want to get better, care for their teammates. Those are the kind of guys we targeted.”